Blog

Week 8 – Snorkels, Shepherds, and Secret Tunnels

Wow this week was absolutely incredible! We had 3 excursions: 2 field trips and 1 fun free day. Our first excursion was our free day. We drove 4 hours south to Eilat, where we swam and snorkeled in the Red Sea. It was an absolute 

Week 7 – Shelo Nayda

For this week’s field trip, we went to Mt. Herzl and Yad Veshem. Mt. Herzl is a place in Jerusalem where Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism, is buried. Our Israel teacher, Ophir, was our tour guide and he had lots of great insights 

Week 6 – Slaying the Giants

This week we went to the Israel Museum, which has lots of interesting artifacts from the Holy Land.

 

This is a heel bone with a nail through it from the same time period as Jesus. This shows a possible method of crucifixion in those days.

 

Underneath this dome is an exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls

 

I know you can’t tell from this pic, but this is a mini model of Jerusalem from the time of Herod

 

 

After walking through the museum, we walked around West Jerusalem.

 

Walking through West Jerusalem

 

We took a picture at this Ethiopian restaurant we were going to eat at but then we couldn’t agree with the owners on a price for food so we ate somewhere else haha

 

We stood by this sign for an hour while we waited for a van to come pick us up haha

 

Our field trip on Monday was the Shephelah field trip, where we visited many sites relating to David.

 

In the valley where Samson would have lived

 

 

We went to Lachish, one of the sites that the Assyrians came and conquered.

 

We tried to signal to our other class across the valley using mirrors. Didn’t really work but it was a good try.

 

 

I love their faces haha

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite part of this field trip was all the caves we saw.

 

They raised doves in these caves, probably for the poor to sacrifice at the temple.

 

 

 

Oh hey Jessica

 

 

An ancient olive press in a cave

 

Tombs in caves

 

 

Heading into the most beautiful cave ever

 

We sang in here and it was beautiful

 

 

Look at all those bats!

 

We visited sites near where David would have come to fight Goliath. We even picked stones from the riverbed where David would have come to select his 5 smooth stones and we tried out our slinging skills.

 

 

Brb on our way to slay the giants

 

Gotta find the perfect smooth stones

 

 

 

Pot sherds for dayzzz

 

 

 

Annalisa always improves the view

 

Checking out a sun dial

 

 

Other things that happened this week included General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was interesting to watch it here because we are so far ahead of time that watching the morning session (broadcast at 10 AM MDT) plays here at 7 PM and the afternoon session starts at 11 PM and goes until 1 AM. Of course, we weren’t required to watch the afternoon session but a few of us stayed up to watch at least a couple of speakers. We watched re-broadcasted sessions on the Sabbath this week to get all the Conference talks. This was such a good Conference! Check out these talks for real: https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng

 

Getting ready for Conference

 

This week we had a forum address by a woman named Bana Husseini. She told us about her experience growing up in Palestine and it was one of the first times I was exposed to the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I’m learning is that there are two sides to every conflict. It’s interesting to hear it directly from these people.

As far as in-Center activities go, I’ve started to love playing volleyball. I play at least a couple times a week. It’s a good break from studying and many friends of mine like to play too.

This week in Hebrew, we had a midterm and afterwards our teacher, Mrs. Goldman, told us all about her ancestors who were in the Holocaust, including many who were killed in Auschwitz. She shared these stories in preparation for our field trip to Yad Vashem (the Israeli Holocaust museum) next week.

This week we also had Israeli folk dancing, which was so much fun! They taught us the “Rich Man” dance move that Tevye does in Fiddler on the Roof and I lovveeee that move so I was very happy about it.

I have a group of friends that I play games with at least once a week and we have lots of fun. This past week, after we played games, this golden moment happened so I just figured I would share this for your viewing pleasure.

Week 5 – Jericho

This week we were back to the grind in Jerusalem. We had tests and lots of homework but we also had some good times in the mix. Our field trip this week was to Jericho. It was a very neat field trip! It was also 

Week 4 – Mallory in Jordan

This week was crazy long but crazy good. To start off the week, I went with some friends to the Jewish market and walked around Jerusalem to see what was happening in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.             

Week 3 – Exploring Israel

It’s been another great week here in the Holy Land! This week I was able to see more of Israel than just Jerusalem. On Sunday, a big group of us went to Tel Aviv to go to the beach and the markets. It was so fun! I am a big fan of the Mediterranean Sea now.

 

Posing by the beach in Tel Aviv

 

I went with some friends to the market first. The markets here are so fun to walk around! Everyone here comes to the market for groceries instead of a grocery store, so we passed stands selling everything and anything.

 

In the markets of Tel Aviv

 

After the market, we walked down to a part of town called Jaffa, which was an old coastal city. Fun fact, it was where the apostle Peter received revelation that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles! We got gelato and walked around the cobblestone streets. So fun!

 

 

 

The Mediterranean is so warm and beautiful! I seriously could not get over the ocean here.

 

 

We spent quite a lot of time at the beach in the afternoon! I definitely got a bit sunburned. But it was worth it!

 

 

Laying around in the shade

 

After the beach, I went with some friends to a beachside cafe for dinner. The food was so good and the view was beautiful.

 

 

All in all, our trip to Tel Aviv was a huge success and I’m in love with another part of Israel.

 

 

Our field trip this week was to the Negev, which is the southern part of Israel. We took quite a long bus ride to get there but it was a great field trip. We saw lots of ruins in archeological sites. Here are some pics I got during the field trip:

 

Beersheva – a land where Abraham built a well

 

Stairs leading to an underground water system

 

 

 

Tel Arad – the site of an ancient Israelite temple

 

The Holy of Holies in an ancient Israelite temple

 

Looking down at an old Canaanite city

 

Well, well, well…

 

An ancient wine press

 

 

 

An ancient church site

 

 

 

 

An ancient sacrificial altar

 

We found these pots in a cave

 

The Desert of Zin, where the Israelites wandered for part of their 40 years in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land

 

 

I really loved this field trip. Clearly there was lots to see! The other fun thing we did this week was sign our names on the walls underneath the Jerusalem Center.

 

 

I am really loving my experience abroad. Those of us living in the BYU Jerusalem Center are growing close and it’s hard to believe we’ve only been here for a couple of weeks! We have a lot of homework and a lot of classes but it’s fun to apply history to these real places we are visiting. The reality of the events in the Bible is sinking in for me and I am growing to love my ancient ancestors. The Spirit is teaching me so much here. I am starting to understand why they call it the Holy Land.

 

Week 2 – Exploring Jerusalem

It’s so crazy that I have only been here in the Holy Land for a little over a week! It’s felt like I’ve been here for a month. There’s so much to do and so much to learn but I’m just trying to slowly absorb 

Week 1 – Shalom from Jerusalem!

I made it! This was my very first week in Jerusalem! It’s felt like one of the longer weeks of my life but I’m so glad to be here. I won’t lie. I’m having a bit of culture shock. It’s cool and all but I